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that our seniors receive. [applause] president obama: and i am open to additional reforms from both parties so long as they don't violate the idea of secure retirement. our government shouldn't make promises we cannot keep. but we must keep the promises we have already made. [applause] [applause] president obama: here's the rest of our target. we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggestioned, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and the well-connected. after all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and medicare, just to protect special interest tax breaks. how is that fair? why is it that deficit reduction is a big emergency justifying making cuts in social security benefits, but not closing some loopholes? how does that promote growth? [applause] president obama: now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit. [applause] president obama: we can get this done. [applause] president obama: the america
, the coalition forces stepping back through a support role. on tuesday, president obama announced during his state of the union address plans for drawing down half of the 66,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan this year, a 34,000 troop reduction by february of 2014. the president continues to consider options for a significantly reduced u.s. military presence in afghanistan after the end of 2014, which will depend on many things but in part on negotiations with the government of afghanistan over legal protections for our troops. the president has made clear that then missions of residual u.s. presence in afghanistan after 2014 will be limited to current terrorism operations and training and advising afghan forces. general austin would bring exceptional experience in overseeing this transition, having commanded u.s. forces in iraq during the reduction of u.s. forces and equipment from iraq. just this past weekend our forces in afghanistan have had a change of command, with general joseph duckworth replacing general john allen as commander of the international securities systems forces and commande
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